2020 Saw Many Sports Figures Leave Us
Man, how we love our sports figures. One of the toughest years in sports’ and world’s history in general is gone and in the books. The year 2020 will always be remembered as one in which we were all forced to make a stop, learn, and adapt, step out of our comfort zone, and reinvent ourselves. It will always be remembered for the pandemic, for Covid-19, but it will also be remembered by all of us sports fans for the loss of some of our most beloved sports legends.
Two names sit on top of the list for sure, two of the greatest athletes to ever play in their respective sport, Kobe Bryant, and Diego Armando Maradona. Every sports fan in the planet cried and mourned for the loss of them both, some of us are still trying to process the news, because that’s just how big they were in our world.
But they’re not the only ones who left us too early. Sadly, 2020 was a year in which we lost many more sports figures and legends, and from many different fields, and here are some of them:
Kobe Bryant: LA Lakers and NBA superstar, Kobe had what was probably the most tragic death out of all of them this year. He died in a helicopter accident on his way to training, along with his 13-year-old Gianna and seven other people. It was and it is still a shock for fans from all over the world, as we prepare to commemorate the 1st-year anniversary of their deaths. He was 41 years old and had recently retired after a 20-year career with the Lakers.
Diego Armando Maradona: Considered by many as the best football player in history, Maradona died in his house on November 25th due to cardiac arrest. He was 60 years old, and he had undergone surgery a few days before. Maradona had a troubled and controversial life, that is no secret for anyone, but in a soccer field, no one could beat his skills and leadership. His funeral was probably Argentina’s biggest public event since the pandemic hit.
Tarvaris Jackson: NFL quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills. Tarvaris Jackson died tragically as well, on a car crash on April 12th, after he drifted off the road and hit a tree. He was just 36 years old, had a 10-year career in the NFL and was a Super Bowl Champion with the Seattle Seahawks as backup QB for Russell Wilson.
David Stern: NBA Commissioner for 30 years, Stern was the first in this list to leave us in 2020, on January first, after he suffered a brain hemorrhage. He was responsible for the NBA’s huge growth from 1984 to 2014 and making it one of the world’s most popular leagues.
Jerry Sloan: NBA player for the Chicago Bulls in the 1970’s, but mostly remembered for being Utah Jazz’s Head Coach for 23 years, taking them to the playoffs 19 times and to the NBA Finals twice, losing to Michael Jordan’s Bulls in both. He died on May 22nd at 78 years old after complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia, which he was diagnosed with since 2016.
Others that left us as well: Don Larsen, Rocky Johnson, Chris Doleman, Willie Wood, Tony Fernandez, Roger Mayweather, Don Shula, John McNamara, Cliff Robinson, Paolo Rossi, among others.